Vegan Christmas dinner at Veged Out in the Birmingham City Centre

Terrific Truffles for afters - vegan Xmas dinner
Terrific Truffles for afters!

A successful vegan Christmas dinner can be difficult to achieve when non-vegans struggle with the concept. How on earth can it work without turkey etc. An easy answer is to ensure the roast veg is vegan friendly and to bring some kind of turkey and pudding replacement. This is simple and means so long as you conjour up some gravy and custard you will end up with a very successful vegan Christmas dinner. Hurray.

A Vegan Christmas dinner at a restaurant

Many families these days go out for Christmas dinner, vegan food for chefs at these places can be a bit of a mystery but the other option is to get the omnivores to come with you to try a guaranteed vegan Christmas dinner at a vegan restaurant. This is something I’ve done several times at the wonderful Warehouse Cafe, always leaving full and happy after a great meal.

I was quite excited to try the vegan Christmas dinner at Veged Out, which is a community cafe tucked away in Fletchers Walk by the Conservatoire, just behind the Town Hall in the City Centre. I was hoping to meet a few Moseley Vegans and enjoy a great vegan Christmas dinner, after the confusion of booking my place at the Birmingham Vegetarian and Vegans Christmas meal.

Vegan Starters
Vegan Starters – Pate & Bhaji

The Veged Out Christmas menu looked very good and with four courses for £15 good value too. I arrived and met a friend and was joined on our table by small family. The parents were new to vegetarian food while the teenage son was vegetarian. They were nice people and I was interested to see the father sold barefoot shoes. I’m very interested in barefoot running and did so at the recent Birmingham Half Marathon.

Starter

I had Christmas bhaji with cranberry chutney, which was quite spicy. I suppose the idea was to balance this with the cranberry chutney which was a good idea. The mother across the table was finding the chilli a bit too much. And to be fair it was a little too hot. I did try my friend’s starter, which was mushroom and port pate on bread. This was good, an interesting flavour pate and not something I’d normally eat.

Main Course

vegan Christmas dinner - Turkey Tofu
Vegan Christmas dinner – Turkey Tofu

The mum chose the curry and didn’t look overly impressed. Myself and my friend had tofu turkey with veg and Yorkshire pudding.  A great vegan Christmas dinner choice. I was convinced the Yorkshire pudding was a dumpling but mine were lovely, the gravy and the roast veg were really nice BUT the tofu was far too salty. Almost too salty to eat, not very nice at all I’m afraid.

Unforgivably, there was frozen veg on the side, peas and carrots… This is not good and does smack of amateurism, I’m afraid I do expect more when eating out at a Vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant.

Desert & Afters

My friend chose the quaintly named Santa sacks. I tasted these and they were lovely, I do like mincemeat and these were a nice twist on the standard mince pie, I really enjoyed my mouthful of this. I had cheesecake for my pud because this is something I don’t normally have as a vegan. I didn’t like it much, it was made from tofu and was a bit plain and the base was soggy. My friend liked this more than me.

Ok, bah humbug, I’m perhaps being over fussy but compared to the fantastic vegan cheese cake you can get from Trishul Rax Chocolate this is lame. Perhaps it’s the use of tofu rather than avocado. Trishul uses very high quality ingredients which means she gets very high quality results – organic cacao etc.

There were truffles for afters, chocolate truffles. These were fab, excellent, these would rival  Buja Buja truffles, there is no higher compliment!

Overall the vegan Christmas dinner at Veged Out was…

Santa sacks
Santa sacks

Disappointing, in a word. I was hoping for a fantastic vegan Christmas dinner at a veggie restaurant and got mediocre, although certain menu items were lush. I have been spoiled at the Warehouse Cafe and by Trishul BUT over-salty tofu and frozen veg are unforgivable. It was a bit of a shame for the family I mention in this post. The parents were clearly new to vegetarian food and I don’t think they’ll be back any time soon.

I’ll be back to try some of the other snacks at Veged Out but my vegan Christmas dinner wasn’t top notch this time, I’m afraid 6/10. It was nice to meet Barbara and her husband who were lovely and there do seem to be some interesting talks coming up at BVV, although I simply cannot make Tuesday evenings.

6 thoughts on “Vegan Christmas dinner at Veged Out in the Birmingham City Centre”

  1. I have eaten the same Christmas dinner and it was FAB! Shame on you for posting an anonymous review about a cafe staffed by volunteers which serves our community so well as the only vegan place in the city centre . I meet there twice a month in groups and they charge us almost no money. Nasty people like you destroy community assets and then moan there is nothing there……

  2. Thanks for taking the time to respond to this post.

    This review is my opinion, you clearly have either lower standards of what constitutes FAB or simply don’t know what you’re on about. It wasn’t FAB, it was ok. I tried very hard to not slag the food off and did a reasonable job.
    I purposely decided against an over the top stinging attack against Veged Out and have highlighted good points about the food. Nevertheless certain elements were excessively over-seasoned AND frozen veg is simply not acceptable in an eating establishment. Those points form the crux of the criticism.

    Anonymous review is a bit rich coming from someone calling themselves None of your business if you bother to go to the about page you can see who I am, there’s even a photo. I posted this on Moseley Vegans and the Veged Out page under my own Facebook account. Anonymous I am not in this criticism.

    While they may allow your group to meet for next to nothing, I went to the meal expecting a Christmas dinner. Something a bit special, I got something that was ok. SO a bit of constructive criticism will probably help Veged Out to improve. IMO while the volunteer aspect helps keep costs low there are drawbacks in terms of quality.

    It is the only vegan place in town, correct, but it has drawbacks and could improve, that would be nice as then it could be somewhere to take non-vegans so they can be exposed to some lovely vegan food. At present I feel it would merely reinforce some of the more unkind stereotype opinions, i.e. vegetarians eat boring food.

    I am not nasty, I went out of my way not to be

  3. Dear Jon and blog readers,

    We would like to apologise to those who didn’t enjoy their meal on Monday. Due to circumstances beyond our control we did not have an operating oven, leaving us no choice but to find a registered kitchen elsewhere in which to operate with 6 hours notice in order to cook a large majority of the menu, resulting in the tofuturkey marinade becoming too concentrated and therefore salty, for example.

    We do run on a very tight budget in order to provide home-cooked food at an affordable price and are a volunteer-led cafe which does not run to make a profit, but which aims to provide work experience for those who need it, a place to support those struggling to get a paid job for an array of reasons, free First Aid and Food Hygiene courses, and a support network for those who volunteer with us.

    We always appreciate feedback of any kind, as this helps us to improve the cafe and to provide a pleasant dining experience, . Again, we would like to gently remind you that the volunteers you meet in the cafe often have no prior experience, always try their best and may have a learning disability, finding the cafe as a supportive environment in which to be in. We are striving to make improvements within the cafe and hope to provide much more consistency with serving staff.

    Thank you for the positive comments, they are really appreciated and we hope to be making drastic improvements in the New Year. In the meantime, if you have any specific comments/suggestions on areas you feel we need to improve, please e-mail contact@vegedout.co.uk

    Thank you once again for your support!

  4. Hey SF,

    Thanks for the comment and subscription. Glad you like the blog, I’ll have a look at your two when I get the chance :)

Got something to say? Go on, you know you want to!